In AMSI scholarship recipient
AMSI grant recipient profile: Marcus Flook

Marcus Flook

Australian National University

I have just begun my MPhil at the Australian National University after completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland.

Can you give a quick rundown about the type of mathematics you are studying and its potential impacts for the broader community?

I am interested in Riemannian geometry, in particular certain geometric flows. These flows appear quite frequently in nature and have potential applications in fields such as image processing. The topological applications of such flows are particularly interesting to me.

How did you get into mathematics/statistics/data science? Was there someone or something that inspired you to this field?

I have always loved mathematics, but I don’t think I properly considered it as a career until my first university course in mathematics. Thankfully I had great teachers all throughout school and university who inspired me to keep pursuing maths.

You received a Travel Grant to attend AMSI Summer School 2023. How important was this in terms of your ability to attend, fully participate in the program and meet others studying in similar fields? Do you think it was an advantage to come back to an in-person style of interaction in the first two weeks?

The travel grant allowed me to attend the summer school in person and meet other students from across Australia with a passion for mathematics. I think it was a massive advantage to return to an in-person format for the first two weeks of the AMSI Summer School.

What was the most valuable part of the program for you? Was it the course content or the people you met? Do you have new ideas for your work/research or see it in a new light?

The most valuable part of the program was interaction with other participants, especially right after the lectures. The course content was fantastic (I took the nonlinear PDEs course) and was very useful to my research interests, but working on problems with other students after the lecture was the best part of the program.

In the long-term, what do you think are the benefits of having attended Summer School?

I think the long-term benefit is in the network with like-minded students. The material and lectures were great, but the opportunity to learn alongside students from across Australia was amazing. On top of this, it was a great chance to improve my ability to communicate mathematics I find interesting with students in different fields.

Summer School included a special Careers Day program which aims to help give students an idea of the kinds of career paths available to maths graduates in industry and private sector research areas. Were you previously aware of the types of industry opportunities available to mathematical science graduates? Would you consider working with industry? Do you feel better equipped to explore career options in the mathematical sciences after attending AMSI Summer School?

I was not aware of the diversity of opportunities available in industry for mathematics students. Whilst I am still hoping to pursue a career in academia, I certainly feel better equipped to explore these options after the summer school.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering applying for Summer School in 2024? Should they apply and why?

My advice would be to absolutely apply. Not only is the content of the courses interesting and relevant, but the program provides a great opportunity to meet other students who love maths from different universities.